#4 A Tribute to Breastfeeding Week 2021
As beneficial as it might be, breastfeeding is rarely the easiest thing to do. For some mothers this process comes easy, but for others, it poses challenges on all levels. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula and even if you hit gold with your first child, it does not mean it’s going to be plain sailing with your other kids down the line. I have been blessed to exclusively breastfeed our 3 kids for 11 months, but this places me in a better position to know the downfalls of it. And I believe sugar coating what’s sometimes bitter, puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on those who are giving it all to breastfeed.
Yes, breastfeeding is frustrating at times. Having to be constantly available for the child, aching and bleeding breasts, and ending up with a somewhat clingy baby, are not so intriguing. Waking up at night is one of the most daunting parts of it and if you have other breastfeeding mum friends you might realise you’re Whatsapping at 3am in the morning!! The child will eventually start using the breasts as a pacifier and though it is suggested to stop this, it’s near to impossible to do so. And what about taking out your breasts in public? Some might be very edgy in front of their kunjatu (father-in-law) at dinner, though I got so used to it, I sometimes forgot to put down my shirt at once after the child finished feeding!
"...remember that victory is in the fighting!"
However, no matter what challenge breastfeeding has presented me with, I have grown to endure all these hiccups and kept fighting till our kids were ready for weaning. Exposing the mundane parts of breastfeeding and embracing them, makes the process more feasible. Knowing there are other mothers going through the same pains and knowing it’s not something happening just to you, makes it easier to sustain. Discarding all the romantic views or societal pressures makes it lighter to carry. Breastfeeding is a process of growth for both the mothers and the nursing children, where we have to struggle, fight and endure until we get to know our limitations and strengths as a way forward to succeed. Success is not being able to breastfeed till the end. Success is in trying and fighting. So when you’re miserable and feel like giving up, remember that victory is in the fighting!